After the Supreme Court’s ruling against Karnataka government’s order to use Kannada as the medium of instructions in all primary schools in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bangalore said that the state government will decide its next step only after studying the complete verdict of the apex court.
The Court was hearing a petition challenging two 1994 Karnataka government orders making Kannada, the mother tongue use in primary schools as the source of instruction from classes I to IV.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha had on Tuesday ruled that the state had no right to compel linguistic minorities to accept the regional language as a medium of instruction in primary education.
Earlier, advocate KV Dhananjaya; appearing on behalf of a association of private schools who had filed a petition against the imposition of Kannada as the medium of instruction in primary schools, had argued that while they were not raising any questions or objections on the primacy of the Kannada language in the state or its greatness, they saw little value as to how imparting knowledge in the primary regional language at the primary level could improve the career prospects of the students.
“The Government wholly errs when it assumes that a parent’s preference for English medium education is a rejection and devaluation of Kannada language. Kannada is a language of immeasurable greatness. A child could learn through English medium in his school and still be perfectly wedded to Kannada culture and hold it with the greatest respect and regard,” Dhananjay said.
He also argued as to how the personal preference of parents of English as a medium of instruction could be misconstrued by the government as ignoring or devaluing the great Kannada language.
“Today, 51 per cent of all children in India in the primary education system are enrolled in Hindi medium. Then comes English medium, which has 11 per cent. If English cannot be protected by the courts because it did not originate in India, what about the religions of Islam and Christianity? These religions did not originate in India. Are not these two religions entitled to protection?” he added.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has called upon the current Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to call upon a meeting of language and legal experts as well as political leaders to discuss the Supreme Court verdict.